U.S. hopes to establish national standards for forensic evidence
WASHINGTON — The federal government announced on Friday that it will commit a scientific agency and establish a national commission to tackle recurring concerns about the quality of forensic evidence used in criminal courts across the country.
A new National Commission on Forensic Science will draft proposals for the U.S. attorney general and Justice Department and draw from expert groups led by a Commerce Department science agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the departments announced.
“This initiative is led by the principle that scientifically valid and accurate forensic analysis strengthens all aspects of our justice system,” said Deputy Attorney General James Cole.
The announcement marked the broadest federal commitment to establishing national forensic science standards since the rise of the FBI Laboratory during the last century.
It comes four years after the National Academy of Sciences urged the White House and Congress to remove crime labs from police and prosecutors' control or at least to improve standards for crime labs, examiners and researchers. The academy was responding to a drumbeat of crime lab scandals and hundreds of DNA exonerations over the past two decades.
The new 30-member commission will be co-chaired by Justice Department and NIST officials.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Cafeteria worker tried to stop Washington school shooter
- 1686 shipwreck ‘like dinosaur’ being rebuilt for museum
- Philadelphia Mafia figure returned to prison for meeting friend
- Test confirms remains are missing Virginia student’s
- New York, New Jersey order 21-day quarantine of all in contact with Ebola virus
- Warhol bodyguard sued over hidden artwork
- Seattle area school homecoming ‘prince’ guns down classmates
- Lawyer turns down AG post
- 2 California deputies slain, suspect captured
- Open encrypted messages by updating technology access law, FBI Director Comey says
- Judge orders W.Va. agency to release pollution data